Recovery comes with a lot of uncharted territory, and it doesn’t matter if you’ve been sober for years or you’ve only just completed a program at a recovery center. While you may have new coping strategies nobody can fully prepare you for life outside of treatment.

For some people, sharing that you’re in recovery is a large, intimidating hurdle. It can be stressful and cause anxiety. To help with that, we’ll share some tips on when and how to tell people you are in recovery.

When to Tell Someone You’re in Recovery

Unfortunately, there may never be a perfect time to share that you’re in recovery, but that doesn’t mean you should hide it. How soon you decide to tell people about your recovery will depend on your relationship with them.

Ultimately, it is up to you when you share that you’re in recovery. However, if you start to build a close relationship with someone, it is important that you do eventually tell them. Telling someone that you are sober can be a huge weight off your shoulders. In most cases, the sooner you tell someone, the better you will feel. Once they are aware, most people will be supportive and can become another ally for your sobriety.

Knowing when to tell someone you are sober can be challenging, especially when it comes to dating. It may not be comfortable to bring up your recovery on the first date. However, once you start dating someone more seriously, you will need to tell them. If you are looking for a life partner, it’s better to know whether they are okay with it.

How to Tell Someone You Are in Recovery

Telling people that you’re in recovery can be intimidating, no matter how close you are with someone. You may be worried they will judge you or think differently of you. That’s why we will share some advice on how to tell someone that you’re in recovery. It may not be easy, but we hope this helps.

  • Do not worry about being judged. Not everyone is going to be as supportive as you would like them to be. However, the people who truly care about you will be supportive. People who are going to judge you for your sobriety are probably people you don’t want in your life.
  • Do not make it a big deal. People tend to react to things the way they are given the news. While it may seem like a big deal to you, try to relax. The bigger deal you make out of sharing your recovery, the more likely the person is going to be concerned and ask more questions. If you play it off, the person will likely respond in a similar fashion.
  • Keep it simple. Instead of working yourself up and preparing a long explanation, keep it short and simple. Saying “I’m in recovery” or “I’m sober” will often be enough. You can elaborate on your addiction and recovery another time if you feel comfortable doing so. Most people will often leave it at that, but some will ask questions. If you don’t feel like answering questions right away, it’s perfectly acceptable to say you don’t want to talk about it.
  • Tell people who matter. While some people are more open about their sobriety, you do not need to tell people if you don’t want to. We do recommend you tell your friends and family, but you do not have to tell everyone. People like your coworkers, acquaintances, and so on do not need to know if you don’t want them to.